A Trooper’s Worst Fear
One of the worst fears of a state trooper is to be dispatched to a fatal accident involving family members. That fear became a reality for Trooper Ken Clements in 1961. Ken was dispatched to a car-train accident near Delta. Arriving at the scene, he found a young girl – she was dead. Ken then located a young man – he was badly injured. He then looked at the car and realized it was his own. The victims were his son and daughter-in-law. His wife had also been in the vehicle and was severely injured. Trooper Clements began to panic as he was unable to locate his infant grandson. Fighting back pain, fear, and shock Ken administered first aid to his son and wife. Another trooper was dispatched from Nephi to take over the accident.
Several volunteers searched the area but were unable to locate the baby. Then the UHP dispatcher received a telephone call from the Delta Hospital requesting the Highway Patrol plane to fly a baby to Salt Lake City for emergency surgery. It was later discovered that two young boys were taking a shortcut near the accident scene, when they found the baby laying in an irrigation ditch, badly injured. Realizing the need for medical attention, they picked up the baby and ran to the hospital, saving the infant’s life.